Costcutter has appointed a retail expert from Musgrave Retail Partners GB to broaden the skills of its sales staff and help roll out its new Costcutter MOT scheme.

Duncan Jelfs has been given the newly created role of sales support manager and will share his 25 years of experience in grocery retail with Costcutter's 50 sales staff.

Jelfs was at Somerfield for 23 years, during which time he worked his way up to regional manager. He then spent two years at Musgrave Retail Partners GB as a project manager on its Budgens stores.

In his new role he will help train sales staff to implement the company's Costcutter MOT scheme. Through the scheme retailers can ask Costcutter for help improving their store to boost sales and profits.

"It's a very broad-based role," said Jelfs. "I will be working closely with the sales team to improve their ability to help retailers and recruit new ones.

"My job is to make the sales force retail consultants. My objective is to have the best-in-class sales force to fully support our members. They will help members to realise the benefits of buying more through Costcutter."

As part of his new role, Jelfs will also be in charge of new store recruitment and will vet stores before Costcutter takes them on.

Costcutter has said the recession will give the company an opportunity to increase its store estate, as more independents will consider joining a symbol group when times are hard. It has already recruited more than 50 stores in the past year.